As an offshoot of this thread, and a followup to a question my boyfriend’s cousin asked both of us last night…
For those of you who are in long-term, exclusive, serious romantic relationships other than marriage, and have no legal or other logistical obstacles to getting married, why have you chosen not to marry so far?
For those of you who are married, presuming your primary reason for getting married wasn’t religious beliefs about sex outside marriage being sinful or something of that nature, why did you choose to marry?
As for myself, I think my boyfriend and I are together for the long haul, and he has said the same. I’m not in any particular hurry to get married right this minute, and I’m not dying to have kids (though as I put it to him, I think that people should only have kids if they are dying to have kids – too many people have kids either by accident, or because it’s something they feel like they should do - and although I still reserve my right to change my mind on that issue, at 39, I realize that if I’m going to change my mind, I’d better get cracking.)
I do vacillate on the whole idea of getting married at some point, though – on one hand, I’m not a super socially conservative person, and I certainly respect the decision of long-term couples who choose not to marry because they don’t think that participating in the social institution of marriage is important to their relationship. (I’ve also got enough baggage from acrimoniously divorced parents, and seen enough friends’ marriages break up, to have my eyes quite open about the permanence of marriage, or the lack thereof.)
But on the other hand, something in my head, and I don’t think it’s as simple as social conditioning, makes me think most of the time that I want to be married at some point. Sure, it would be nice to have my boyfriend eligible for health insurance through my job and all the other legal niceties that come with the piece of paper in modern American society, but for me that just isn’t the issue.
Do I think that the fundamental nature of our relationship would change if we were married? Not really, but somehow there is still that nagging voice in the back of my mind.
So fellow Dopers, please share your stories and help me sort through my opinion on this stuff.